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{{CTan
 
{{CTan
 
|tab1 = Villain Overview
 
|tab1 = Villain Overview
|tab2 = Gallery}}{{Hostile Species
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|tab2 = Gallery}}
  +
{{Hostile Species
 
|image = Haste_of_the_Balrogs_by_Viking-Heart.png
 
|image = Haste_of_the_Balrogs_by_Viking-Heart.png
 
|fullname = Valaraukar
 
|fullname = Valaraukar
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Shadow and Flame
 
Shadow and Flame
 
|origin = ''The Silmarillion''
 
|origin = ''The Silmarillion''
|homeworld = Arda (they were actually born as Maiar before its creation)
+
|homeworld = Arda <small>(they were actually born as Maiar before its creation)</small>
 
|occupation = Servants of Morgoth
 
|occupation = Servants of Morgoth
|members = [[Gothmog (Balrog)|Gothmog]], the Lord of the Balrogs<br>
+
|members = Gothmog <small>(the Lord of the Balrogs)</small><br>
 
Durin's Bane<br>
 
Durin's Bane<br>
 
Lungorthin<br>
 
Lungorthin<br>
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Pyrokinesis
 
Pyrokinesis
 
|hobby = Killing and destroying kingdoms.
 
|hobby = Killing and destroying kingdoms.
|goals = Serve Morgoth in to taking over Arda and ruining it.<br>
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|goals = Serve Morgoth in to taking over Arda and ruining it <small>(succeeded)</small>.<br>
Destroy Middle-earth.<br>
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Destroy Middle-earth <small>(ongoing)</small>.
Durin's Bane goals: Kill Gandalf, Destroy Khazad-dûm (succeeded)
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|crimes = Mass murder
 
|type of hostile species = Demonic Traitors}}
 
|type of hostile species = Demonic Traitors}}
   
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==Appearance==
 
==Appearance==
 
===In J.R.R. Tolkien's novels===
 
===In J.R.R. Tolkien's novels===
A Balrog generally took the form of a tall, menacing being roughly in the shape of a Man, having control of both fire and shadow and wielding a fiery whip with several thongs ([[Gothmog]], the Lord of Balrogs in the First Age, used an axe as well). They induced great terror in friends and foes alike. Many who faced Balrogs referred to them as "creatures of fire and shadow" or simply "shadow and flame."
+
A Balrog generally took the form of a tall, menacing being roughly in the shape of a Man, having control of both fire and shadow and wielding a fiery whip with several thongs ([[Gothmog (Balrog)|Gothmog]], the Lord of Balrogs in the First Age, used an axe as well). They induced great terror in friends and foes alike. Many who faced Balrogs referred to them as "creatures of fire and shadow" or simply "shadow and flame."
   
 
In his published works, Tolkien depicts the Balrog as being barely a shape wreathed in shadow and flame - possibly man-shape, yet greater. He also described the Balrog as being only "several feet taller than an average man". In the book series ''The History of Middle-earth'', Balrogs are revealed to be twice as tall as an Elf. Balrogs seemed to encapsulate and project power and terror.
 
In his published works, Tolkien depicts the Balrog as being barely a shape wreathed in shadow and flame - possibly man-shape, yet greater. He also described the Balrog as being only "several feet taller than an average man". In the book series ''The History of Middle-earth'', Balrogs are revealed to be twice as tall as an Elf. Balrogs seemed to encapsulate and project power and terror.
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==History==
 
==History==
 
===Origins===
 
===Origins===
Balrogs were "scourges of fire, ... demons of terror." They were Maiar, originally of the same order as [[Saruman]] and Gandalf, but they were seduced by [[Morgoth|Melkor]], who corrupted them to his service in the days of his splendour before the creation of Arda. During the Music of the Ainur, the Ainulindalë, Melkor (Morgoth) began introducing themes of his own design into the Theme of Ilúvatar, causing great discord in the music.
+
Balrogs were "scourges of fire, demons of terror." They were Maiar, originally of the same order as [[Saruman]] and Gandalf, but they were seduced by [[Morgoth|Melkor]], who corrupted them to his service in the days of his splendour before the creation of Arda. During the Music of the Ainur, the Ainulindalë, Melkor (Morgoth) began introducing themes of his own design into the Theme of Ilúvatar, causing great discord in the music.
  +
  +
Balrogs were among those spirits near Melkor who attuned their own music to Melkor's theme rather than Ilúvatar's. Therefore, they not only existed before the creation of the world, they also had a part in its corruption.
   
Balrogs were among those spirits near Melkor who attuned their own music to Melkor's theme rather than Ilúvatar's. Therefore, they not only existed before the creation of the world, they also had a part in its corruption.[[File:The_balrogs_of_morgoth_by_thylacinee-d5pl60x.png|thumb|250px|Morgoth with Balrogs.]]
 
 
===Serving Morgoth===
 
===Serving Morgoth===
Balrogs were originally Maiar, similar to that of [[Sauron]] and Saruman, but after Morgoth's fall into darkness they followed after him and became his demon servants. The creature is reffered to as the Balrog of Morgoth. Morgoth is ultimately the root of all evil in Middle Earth. Gothmog, High-Captain of Angband, was the Lord of Balrogs. During the Fall of Gondolin Gothmog and the Elf Ecthelion fought, both dying when they fell into a Fountain. Another Balrog fought Glorfindel as the Elf protected refugees from Gondolin and they both fell to ruin in the abyss.[[File:Ted_Nasmith_-_The_Dwarves_Delve_Too_Deep.jpg|thumb|250px|The Dwarves accidentally free Durin's Bane in Moria.]]
+
[[File:The_balrogs_of_morgoth_by_thylacinee-d5pl60x.png|thumb|250px|Morgoth with Balrogs.]]
  +
Balrogs were originally Maiar, similar to that of [[Sauron]] and Saruman, but after Morgoth's fall into darkness they followed after him and became his demon servants. The creature is referred to as the Balrog of Morgoth. Morgoth is ultimately the root of all evil in Middle Earth. Gothmog, High-Captain of Angband, was the Lord of Balrogs. During the Fall of Gondolin Gothmog and the Elf Ecthelion fought, both dying when they fell into a Fountain. Another Balrog fought Glorfindel as the Elf protected refugees from Gondolin and they both fell to ruin in the abyss.
  +
 
===Escaping underground===
 
===Escaping underground===
  +
[[File:Ted_Nasmith_-_The_Dwarves_Delve_Too_Deep.jpg|thumb|250px|The Dwarves accidentally free Durin's Bane in Moria.]]
 
Most of the remaining Balrogs were slain in the War of Wrath that ended the First Age, though at least one escaped. The demon is encountered in the Mines of Moria, and seems feared by all goblins and orcs that have taken over the tunnels in the mountain. Durin's Bane lived in the darkness of Khaz-a-dum, known to the Elves as Moria, a deep place of the world, being older and more monstrous than an [[Orcs (Middle-earth)|orc]] or [[Goblins (Middle-earth)|goblin]].
 
Most of the remaining Balrogs were slain in the War of Wrath that ended the First Age, though at least one escaped. The demon is encountered in the Mines of Moria, and seems feared by all goblins and orcs that have taken over the tunnels in the mountain. Durin's Bane lived in the darkness of Khaz-a-dum, known to the Elves as Moria, a deep place of the world, being older and more monstrous than an [[Orcs (Middle-earth)|orc]] or [[Goblins (Middle-earth)|goblin]].
   
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*[[lotr:Durin's Bane|http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Durin's Bane]]
 
*[[lotr:Durin's Bane|http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Durin's Bane]]
   
  +
==Navigation==
 
{{Middle-Earth Villains}}
 
{{Middle-Earth Villains}}
  +
 
[[pl:Balrogowie]]
 
[[pl:Balrogowie]]
 
[[Category:Demon]]
 
[[Category:Demon]]
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[[Category:Hostile Species]]
 
[[Category:Hostile Species]]
 
[[Category:Book Villains]]
 
[[Category:Book Villains]]
[[Category:Dark Fantasy Villains]]
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[[Category:Fantasy Villains]]
 
[[Category:Movie Villains]]
 
[[Category:Movie Villains]]
 
[[Category:Live Action Villains]]
 
[[Category:Live Action Villains]]
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[[Category:Genderless]]
 
[[Category:Genderless]]
 
[[Category:Fallen Heroes]]
 
[[Category:Fallen Heroes]]
[[Category:Evil from the past]]
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[[Category:Evil from the Past]]
 
[[Category:Chaotic Evil]]
 
[[Category:Chaotic Evil]]
 
[[Category:Middle-Earth Villains]]
 
[[Category:Middle-Earth Villains]]
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[[Category:Minion]]
 
[[Category:Minion]]
 
[[Category:Outcast]]
 
[[Category:Outcast]]
[[Category:Monsters]]
 
 
[[Category:Destroyers]]
 
[[Category:Destroyers]]
 
[[Category:Symbolic]]
 
[[Category:Symbolic]]
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[[Category:Military]]
 
[[Category:Military]]
 
[[Category:Corrupting Influence]]
 
[[Category:Corrupting Influence]]
[[Category:Fighter]]
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[[Category:Fighters]]
 
[[Category:Murderer]]
 
[[Category:Murderer]]
 
[[Category:Immortals]]
 
[[Category:Immortals]]
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[[Category:Pawns]]
 
[[Category:Pawns]]
 
[[Category:Amoral]]
 
[[Category:Amoral]]
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[[Category:Homicidal]]

Latest revision as of 16:26, February 8, 2020

Villain Overview

For the Balrog met in The Fellowship of the Ring see: Durin's Bane.

Balrogs, as they are known in Arda (real names Valaraukar), are an extremely powerful demonic race of fallen Maiar found in J.R.R Tolkien's fantasy universe of Arda and Middle-earth.

Being the most notable demons of the First Age, they are noted as being a race that have undergone heavy changes by Tolkien, as he began to alter them from a race that was once numerous enough to be described as "hosts" to beings that "at most" numbered seven at a time.

Another aspect of the Balrog that changed through time was their size and physical nature, with later versions becoming more elemental in nature - fiery and near indestructible (this was the type chosen for the movie, it would appear).

AppearanceEdit

In J.R.R. Tolkien's novelsEdit

A Balrog generally took the form of a tall, menacing being roughly in the shape of a Man, having control of both fire and shadow and wielding a fiery whip with several thongs (Gothmog, the Lord of Balrogs in the First Age, used an axe as well). They induced great terror in friends and foes alike. Many who faced Balrogs referred to them as "creatures of fire and shadow" or simply "shadow and flame."

In his published works, Tolkien depicts the Balrog as being barely a shape wreathed in shadow and flame - possibly man-shape, yet greater. He also described the Balrog as being only "several feet taller than an average man". In the book series The History of Middle-earth, Balrogs are revealed to be twice as tall as an Elf. Balrogs seemed to encapsulate and project power and terror.

Additionally, they may have been able to alter their body structures on occasions as being seen in the battle between Durin's Bane and Gandalf, when the Balrog fell into a water he could shift himself into something gelatinous. However, it is also possible that this alternate form was simply Gandalf using colorful language to describe what the Balrog was like after having its flame extinguished and being covered in water.

In Sir Peter Jackson's filmsEdit

In the film adaptations, the head somewhat resembles a skull with ram's horns, while being itself wrapped in its flames. Obviously quite a bit of creative license was used, as nowhere in Tolkien literature is the Balrog described in this way, and is much larger than Tolkien ever described. Tolkien described the Balrog being only "several feet taller than an average man", but in Peter Jackson's film adaptation the Balrog stands at least 20 feet tall, towering over nearly all the other characters in the series.

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

Balrogs were "scourges of fire, … demons of terror." They were Maiar, originally of the same order as Saruman and Gandalf, but they were seduced by Melkor, who corrupted them to his service in the days of his splendour before the creation of Arda. During the Music of the Ainur, the Ainulindalë, Melkor (Morgoth) began introducing themes of his own design into the Theme of Ilúvatar, causing great discord in the music.

Balrogs were among those spirits near Melkor who attuned their own music to Melkor's theme rather than Ilúvatar's. Therefore, they not only existed before the creation of the world, they also had a part in its corruption.

Serving MorgothEdit

The balrogs of morgoth by thylacinee-d5pl60x

Morgoth with Balrogs.

Balrogs were originally Maiar, similar to that of Sauron and Saruman, but after Morgoth's fall into darkness they followed after him and became his demon servants. The creature is referred to as the Balrog of Morgoth. Morgoth is ultimately the root of all evil in Middle Earth. Gothmog, High-Captain of Angband, was the Lord of Balrogs. During the Fall of Gondolin Gothmog and the Elf Ecthelion fought, both dying when they fell into a Fountain. Another Balrog fought Glorfindel as the Elf protected refugees from Gondolin and they both fell to ruin in the abyss.

Escaping undergroundEdit

Ted Nasmith - The Dwarves Delve Too Deep

The Dwarves accidentally free Durin's Bane in Moria.

Most of the remaining Balrogs were slain in the War of Wrath that ended the First Age, though at least one escaped. The demon is encountered in the Mines of Moria, and seems feared by all goblins and orcs that have taken over the tunnels in the mountain. Durin's Bane lived in the darkness of Khaz-a-dum, known to the Elves as Moria, a deep place of the world, being older and more monstrous than an orc or goblin.

In TA 1980 the Dwarves dug too deep for mithril and woke the Balrog. It slew the Dwarf King Durin VI, and the next year Durin's son Nain I. The Dwarves were driven out of Moria. In 2799 at the Battle of Azanulbizar the Dwarf Dain, later Dain II, King of Durin's Folk, when he pursued the Orc Leader Azog to the Gate of Moria and slew him, saw Durin's Bane. He told his father's cousin Thrain II, that Moria could not be taken.

The Lord of the Rings' EncounterEdit

The Lord of the Rings contains only a brief encounter with the demon; this particular Balrog's name was unknown, and was referred to as Durin's Bane, or the Nameless Terror. It was killed by Gandalf the Gray after a brutal battle. 

CapabilitiesEdit

Balrogs were incredibly powerful creatures. They were amongst the most trusted and oldest servants of Morgoth, and, with dragons, were the most powerful creatures under Morgoth's command, possibly one of the most powerful entities in all of Middle Earth. In Tolkien's later writings, he made note of the fact that there could not have ever been more than seven Balrogs, yet they were able to drive away Ungoliant in what was described as a "tempest of fire". This is all the more impressive considering that even Tulkas was helpless before the Unlight that Ungoliant spewed to cover her escape.

Balrogs' most renowned and feared magics involved the creation or summoning of fiery weapons. In addition, these fallen Maia could ignite and engulf themselves in flames.

The extent of their command of magics other than their weaponry is something of a mystery. It is known however, that they possess the ability to cast spells in a similar manner to the Istar, Durin's Bane was able to cast a counter-spell against Gandalf so potent that it overwhelmed a spell he had been using to keep a door closed, and very nearly overwhelmed Gandalf himself.

  • Fire Sword
  • Fire Whip
It seems likely that they cannot be hurt with normal weapons as Gandalf said. Gandalf could fight against the demon because Gandalf himself is a Maia as well and the blade used by him was Glamdring, a sword of Gondolin. Balrog's possessed superhuman strength, durability, stamina, pain-tolerance and flexibility, as they were capable of picking up and throwing a human with one hand. They could also create earthly explosions with just their fists and tails.

WeaponsEdit

1. Fire Sword

2. Fire Whip

TriviaEdit

  • The Balrogs would serve as the inspiration for the race of Demons in D&D and Pathfinder known as Balors, who like Balrogs are large, powerful demons with red skin, large bat wings, a powerful flame sword, and a whip.
  • Coincidentally, they share a name with the Street Fighter villain "Balrog".
  • In the cancelled Lord of the Rings video game Lord of the Rings: The White Council, there were apparently going to be "Ice Balrogs", and the game makers got approval to make this change to the lore. However, because the game was cancelled, these "Ice Balrogs" never appeared.

External linksEdit

NavigationEdit

            Middle earth sbg-1-1024x257Villains

Dark Armies
Leaders: Morgoth | Sauron | Saruman
Nazgûl: Witch-King of Angmar | Khamûl | Helm Hammerhand | Suladan | Isildur | Nazgûl Sisters
Balrogs: Durin's Bane | Gothmog | Tar-Goroth
Dragons: Smaug | Ancalagon | Scatha | Drogoth the Dragon Lord | Glaurung
Great Spiders: Shelob | Ungoliant
Werewolves: Carcharoth
Goblins/Orcs: Gorkil the Goblin King | Great Goblin | Azog | Bolg | Yazneg | Grishnákh | Gothmog | Gorbag | Zog the Eternal | Gazmog
Uruk-hai: Ugluk | Lurtz | Shagrat | Hodhvarz
Black Númenóreans: Mouth of Sauron | Agandaur | Black Hand of Sauron | Hammer of Sauron | Tower of Sauron
Olog-Hai: Brûz the Chopper
Men of Darkness: Ar-Pharazôn | Gríma Wormtongue | Bill Ferny | Lheu Brenin | Easterlings | Corsairs of Umbar | Dunlendings | Haradrim
Various Creatures: Barrow Wights | Trolls | Wargs | Fellbeasts | Gûlavhar | Watcher in the Water

Corrupted Elves
Fëanor | Celegorm | Caranthir | Curufin | Maeglin | Celebrimbor

Corrupted Hobbits
Gollum | Lotho Sackville-Baggins | Ted Sandyman

Other
Alfrid Lickspittle | Master of Laketown | Old Man Willow

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